AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Four-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference and three-time Academic All-OAC Baldwin Wallace University senior women's cross country runner Kelly Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) has been named 2019's OAC Runner of the Year.
Brennan, who earns her first ever OAC Runner of the Year award, becomes the sixth BW women's cross country runner to claim the honor since the award's inception back in 1999, and the program's first recipient of the accolade since Kim Chinn in 2010. The Yellow Jackets' six different OAC Runner of the Year award winners are the most amongst OAC teams, with Otterbein University placing in second with three.
Brennan was BW's top runner this season as earned United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American honors (Top 40) for the first time in her career. Brennan's 31st-place performance at the NCAA Division III National Championships joined her with some exclusive Yellow Jackets company as she became just the fifth women's cross country All-American in program history, and its first since Kimberly Chinn, back in 2010. Her efforts in that race were also highlighted the fourth-highest individual national placement in program history.
The four-year letterwinner led the charge for BW in six races this fall, which featured an eighth-place finish at the All-Ohio Championships, a third-place finish at the OAC Championships, and a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Championships. With all three of those performances, Brennan garnered All-Ohio, All-OAC, and All-Great Lakes Region honors for the fourth time in her career. In addition, Brennan had established two new career-bests in the 5k and 6k this season, running for a 18:16.9 finish at the Tommy Evans Invitiational on September 7 and a 21:23.6 finish at the Inter-Regional Rumble on October 19. She also collected her first two OAC Runner of the Week awards, both of which coming in the month of October.
BW earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season, and concluded its season with a 16th-place finish at the national meet; its third-highest finish in program history, and its best finish since a program-record eighth-place, back in 2002.